I currently drive a 2006 Impala, which is not as comfortable or of as high a quality as my previous 2001 model. We are taking a serious look at the Prius and we just test drove one. We also drove a Honda Civic Hybrid.
At our age (early sixties) and driving needs (both in town and longer trips - 200 to 1,200 miles) our concerns are comfort and economy. The Prius seems to be a much better choice than the Honda. It is far roomier for the driver and passengers and has far more cargo space. It also has a much nicer interior. The Honda seemed to look really cheap in the cabin. The Prius also comes in several trim packages, while the Honda has only one option period.
However my major complaint with the Prius during out test drive is the lack of adjustment with the seats. The Honda had more comfortable seats with a height adjustment and a telescoping steering wheel. This can be critical on long drives. In the Prius the seats were too hard and lacked support under the thigh. I am 5'10" and could not find a comfortable driving position. There is no telescoping steering wheel available, and with this car that is a major shortcoming for us. It seems silly for Toyota to leave that option unavailable on a car this smart.
The car performed well. Acceleration was very adequate. Handling was lose on the highway, and although the car runs quiet and there is minimal wind noise, the road noise was very pronounced. You had to stay busy to keep running straight, and every bump caused the car to stray a little.
This was a 2008 model and the EPA sticker was 48/45 I believe. (Yep, it does better in the city than on the highway).
We will probably test drive a second one to see if our impressions about the comfort issues were accurate. I really like the technology and the space.
I have not seen any reviews yet that speak about handling on ice or snow or other issues with winter driving. How well does the heater work. the AC? The car is still "on our list" but we do have some doubts.